<mini rant on>
I've done several Project Management jobs, new build and refit, so I'm somewhat opinionated. It's been my experience that unless the owner takes an 'active" role or the surveyor
is "active" the quality of the product may not be what you expected or paid for. And "active" isn't coming to the yard every few weeks for a couple days.
Having someone on site who knows the contract
details and owners wishes can produce a better product with reduced anxiety and stress for the owner. Finding and fixing problems is what the PM does. The PM needs to be on site every day, all day, making sure that things are done right. If your PM has a couple boats under his control, unless they're being built side by side in the same shed, that should set off warning bells.
Then there's the paperwork!
And while there are comments about PMs that take kickbacks, the majority of us work for the owner and are compensated by the salary we're paid. Good PMs aren't cheap
but we can generally save the owner the cost of our salary by getting the best product for the price
. And many of us, if we are offered a kickback by a vendor, scratch them off the list. Permanently.
I get my jobs based on owner comments and observations and if they ever smell a kickback; well, the owner's network is far more efficient and carries more weight than the opinion of a PM candidate.
Any PM who's under the impression that the owner doesn't know that things cost, is in for a rude awakening. These owners didn't get into the position of paying for a PM without doing their homework.
Any owner who thinks a recommended PM is on the take, should have done some due diligence and checked references, evaluated the weekly reports, photos, and phone
calls the PM should be making. Owners have a very good BS detector.
Or look for another PM.
But then, there are owners that are impossible to please, either by thinking they're getting ripped off, the PM is a slacker, or that the yard and PM are out to get them. Then the salary I get or the proof I provide isn't enough.
<mini rant off>